Senior Research Scientist

  • Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
  • Portland, OR, United States
Full Time Academia Education Research Science

Job Description

NWEA has an exciting new opening for Senior Research Scientist within our Academic Research and Services team. This is a full-time job opening located at our downtown Portland headquarters. Candidates should reside in the Portland metro area or be willing to relocate to Portland, OR. NWEA offers competitive compensation; an outstanding benefits package; and career growth opportunities.

Founded by educators nearly 40 years ago, NWEA™ is a global not-for-profit educational services organization known for our flagship interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®). More than 7,600 partners in U.S. schools, school districts, education agencies, and international schools trust us to offer pre-kindergarten through grade 12 assessments that accurately measure student growth and learning needs, professional development that fosters educators’ ability to accelerate student learning, and research that supports assessment validity and data interpretation. To better inform instruction and maximize every learner’s academic growth, educators currently use NWEA assessments with nearly eight million students.

Position summary

The responsibility of this position is to enhance the capabilities of the Academic Research and Services team to provide research support to the organization and its member agencies. The areas of focus for this position are curriculum and instruction, program evaluation, social emotional learning, ed tech efficacy research, prototyping, and R&D. Expertise in technology in education, social emotional learning, literacy, serious games, or innovative assessment.


• Work with the leader of the Academic Research and Services team to develop a research agenda, design, and implement research studies
• Perform research to enhance NWEA capabilities to provide the most advanced assessment capabilities
• Perform research for program evaluation
• Perform research to validate the efficacy of new products and services
• Literature research and synthesis reviews
• Instrument design for surveys, interviews, observations, and assessments
• Participation in site visits and data collection
• Coding and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data
• Writing to support communication of research to academic, policy, and commercial audiences
• Serve as principal investigator for research projects with universities, foundations, the government, and other agencies
• Serve as primary author for technical reports and documentation
• Serve as primary author for published studies and peer-reviewed articles
• Exercise thought leadership in relevant areas related to NWEA products, offerings, services, or partner support
• Mentor Research Scientists
• Serve as principal investigator on large and small research projects and initiatives, providing opportunities for Research Scientists to contribute their expertise and, where appropriate and commensurate with skills and experience, provide leadership in aspects of the studies
• Consistently and proactively supports, contributes to, and improves the culture of the Research Team and NWEA
• Proactively and independently generates or contributes to new knowledge or capability in existing and new NWEA products and services, both when operationally deployed and in earlier stages of prototype design.
• Actively grows their skill set and expertise in cutting edge applications, processes, and methodologies, keeping abreast of innovations in the field and applying them to their work at NWEA.
• Documents and disseminates the results of research and/or development projects through publication, presentation, and workshops.
• Actively contributes to setting substantive research and development goals and priorities for Academic Research and Services, working cross-Research and cross-organizationally.
• Perform other duties as assigned to ensure the success of the team and the entire organization.

Skills and abilities

• Demonstrated facility with measurement and statistical software (SPSS, SAS, or similar programs)
• Demonstrated ability to analyze large data sets in an efficient manner
• Mastery of written English needed to write technical and non-technical reports and documentation
• Ability to work from an organizational perspective
• Must be able to perform the physical and intellectual requirements of the role, with or without accommodation

Education and experience

• Ph.D. in education, cognitive psychology, human development, curriculum and instruction
• Minimum of five years related work experience in educational research or assessment
• Experience as a lead investigator on large scale research projects


NWEA’s generous benefits package includes: 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision insurance premiums for eligible employees; company-paid public transportation, indoor bicycle racks, and free on-site parking; convenient location near public transportation near the Pearl District in downtown Portland; additional monthly compensation in the form of flex pay; and a 15% annual employer contribution toward our 403b retirement plan. In addition, NWEA’s culture promotes work-life balance. Accordingly, we offer 4 weeks’ PTO in the first year, 5 weeks’ PTO after the first-year anniversary, and 6 weeks’ PTO after the second-year anniversary and in subsequent years. Our employees also enjoy flexible work schedules.

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NWEA™ is an equal opportunity employer.  Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.  For our EEO Policy Statement, please visit the following website:
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